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Self Help Has What You Need

answered 08:18 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
anonymous anonymous
My son is 18. He is addicted to marijuana and other drugs and he is trying to quit. His doctor (a family friend) recommended NA. There are a NA groups in our city but they are filled with older people, most are in their 30s or 40s already. My son feels intimidated and he does not have much in common with these people. He only went to one meeting but he is not sure he wants to go back. He does want to stop using though because he wants to try for junior college next fall. Should I encourage him to keep going or is the age mismatch a deal breaker? If he doesn’t go to NA here he will have to probably do an outpatient program in Topeka and live with his aunt and I am worried that staying more or less unsupervised in such a big city will be tough on him.

Jim LaPierre Says...

Kudos to you for being so concerned and supportive of your son. If I could talk to your son I would tell him there's a lot of good reasons why the folks at meetings are older - they are the ones who suffered enough to stop. There's an acronym called Y.E.T. it stands for, "You're Eligible Too." You're eligible for having a life and becoming the person you want to be before you lose more. You're also eligible for plenty more suffering and loss and pain. While it's intimidating to be surrounded by people much older, recognize that those folks have the answers you need and they would LOVE to save you years of suffering.

I would also encourage your son to check out local AA, Al-Ateen or other self help groups that have people closer to his age. Addiction is addiction is addiction. It doesn't matter if we're talking about alcohol, opiates, or any other drug - it all leads us to the same destruction.

If your son can get counseling locally that could also be beneficial. Marijuana is not a difficult drug to withdraw from - if he is dependent on other drugs his doctor needs to know this.

18 is an amazing age to get sober - he needs support and encouragement and he needs accountability above all else - NA and AA offer this.

Good luck and blessed be

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Page last updated Dec 21, 2012

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